“I love you”

lifeloveIn recent interactions with a government agency that is supposedly dedicated to helping families who are in crisis, it became clear to me that many who are employed there had long forgotten the mission. They may have started with noble intentions to help, but for numerous reasons, they were now just ‘doing their job,’ filing the papers, making the appearances. The clients are just ‘cases.’  Worse than the lack of compassion is that fact that in an agency that has vast power over people who are disadvantaged, authority is all too often is used like a sledgehammer that destroys the lives of the very people that are supposedly being ‘helped.’  Where love is lost, people suffer!

I spoke with a couple recently who told a heartbreaking story of betrayal of faith and trust by “men of God.”  Tears stung my eyelids as I heard about the double betrayal. Not only did they have to deal with their hurt. They also experienced a refusal of the organization to take responsibility for the failure of one its own!  On the same day I read a book (Beyond the Call) about Robert Trimble, an Army pilot who was sent into Poland near the end of the second World War to retrieve American POW’s. The evil that Captain Trimble saw broke him, but he was even more dismayed by the politics of the time which led to Roosevelt and the US government to sellout Eastern Europe to Stalin and the Soviets to keep them in the war against the Nazis. Preserving the government’s mission became more important that the people who were forgotten!

It can happen to you, to me. “Love God, love others,” Jesus says. His words grow familiar. If we allow it, they lose their compelling power. The ‘efficient’ function of an organization can blind us to the people it is to serve. The ‘mission’ can take over so that we forget the reason for it.  Work is a necessary thing as we support our families. But, if we turn into ‘work-aholics’ that are gone for days, who are not really home even when we are in the house, we have forgotten the people that make our work a necessity.  The pursuit of the Holy and the Truth are commands of God, but if those things make us cruel, judgmental people who exclude those we believe to be ‘sinners’ or ‘in error’ from Him, our priorities are upside down!

Christian in this world let’s be people unashamed to love radically. Let’s commit ourselves to a love that is costly, compelling, and that sees the value of that one person!  Ponder anew this passage that calls us to a life that serves people; more than churches, more than companies, more than convenience! “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.” (1 John 3:11-19, NIV)

Renew your understanding of the amazing grace and love of God. Jesus said that the Father knows you down to the smallest detail – ‘the very hairs on your head are numbered!’  Let that grip you. Living in the love of God keeps us loving others, even when it is hard, inefficient, or hugely costly.  Here is a word from the Word – “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” (Ephesians 5:1-2, The Message)

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